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State budget expected to pass this week with money for school funding study

Jun 1, 2015

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are set to take final votes this week on the state budget.

It’s expected to include $500,000 to conduct a study on education funding. The goal is to find out how much it costs to educate a student in Michigan.

“I think it’ll be very helpful that we actually start the process with, how much should it cost? And then figure out how much money we have, instead of the opposite – which is what we’ve been doing,” said state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., who has been pushing for the study.

“In the past what we’ve been doing has been putting the cart in front of the horse by actually finding how much money we had and then choosing how we funded education,” he said. “What we need to do is actually find out what it costs to actually teach a child in Michigan and then building a funding model around it.”

Critics of the study say it’s a tactic Democrats and teachers unions use to argue for more money.

The budget agreement is also expected to include a two-percent increase in funding for K-12 schools.